Table

Major U.S. Code Sections of the SDWA (Title XIV—Safety of Public Water Systems)

Code Section Part

Part A—Definitions

300f Definitions, Sec. 1401

Part B—Public Water Systems

300g Coverage, Sec. 1411

300g-1 National Drinking Water Regulations, Sec. 1412

300g-2 State Primary Enforcement Responsibility, Sec. 1413

300g-3 Enforcement of Drinking Water Regulations, Sec. 1414

300g-4 Variances, Sec. 1415

300g-5 Exemptions, Sec. 1416

300g-6 Prohibition on Use of Lead Pipes, Solder, and Flux, Sec. 1417

300g-7 Monitoring of Contaminants, Sec. 1418

300g-8 Operator Certification, Sec. 1419

300g-9 Capacity Development, Sec. 1420

Part C—Protection of Underground Sources of Drinking Water

Regulations for State Programs, Sec. 1421 State Primary Enforcement Responsibility, Sec. 1422 Enforcement of Program, Sec. 1423 Interim Regulation of Underground Injections, Sec. 1424 Optional Demonstration by States Relating to Oil or Natural Gas, Sec. 1425 Regulation of State Programs, Sec. 1426 Sole Source Aquifer Demonstration, Sec. 1427 State Programs to Establish Wellhead Protection Areas, Sec. 1428 State Ground Water Protection Grants, Sec. 1429

Part D—Emergency Powers

Emergency Powers, Sec. 1431 Tampering with Public Water Systems, Sec. 1432

Part E—General Provisions

Assurances of Availability of Adequate Supplies of Chemicals Necessary for

Treatment, Sec. 1441 Research, Technical Assistance, Information, Training of Personnel, Sec. 1442 Grants for State Programs, Sec. 1443 Special Project Grants and Guaranteed Loans, Sec. 1444 Grants to Public Sector Agencies

Contaminant Standards or Treatment Technique Guidelines National Assistance Program for Water Infrastructure and Watersheds Records and Inspections, Sec. 1445 National Drinking Water Advisory Council, Sec. 1446 Federal Agencies, Sec. 1447

(continued ) 6 2003 by A. P. Sincero and G. A. Sincero

300h

300h-1

300h-2

300h-3

300h-4

300h-5

300h-6

300h-7

300h-8

300i 300i-1

300j

300j-1

300j-2

300j-3

300j-3a

300j-3b

300j-3c

300j-4

300j-5

300j-6

TABLE 4 (Continued)

Major U.S. Code Sections of the SDWA (Title XIV—Safety of Public Water Systems)

Code Section Part

300j-7 Judicial Review, Sec. 1448

300j-8 Citizen's Civil Action, Sec. 1449

300j-9 General Provisions, Sec. 1450

300j-10 Appointment of Scientific, etc., Personnel by Administrator of Environmental

Protection Agency for Implementation of Responsibilities; Compensation

300j-11 Indian Tribes

300j-12 State Revolving Loan Funds, Sec. 1452

300j-13 Source Water Quality Assessment

300j-14 Source Water Petition Program

Part F—Additional Requirements to Regulate Drinking Water

300j-15 Water Conservation Plan

300j-16 Assistance to Colonials

300j-17 Estrogenic Substances Screening Program

300j-18 Drinking Water Studies

300j-21 Definitions

300j-22 Recall of Drinking Water Coolers with Lead-Lined Tanks

300j-23 Drinking Water Coolers Containing Lead

300j-24 Lead Contamination in School Drinking Water

300j-25 Federal Assistance for State Programs Regarding Lead Contamination in

School Drinking Water 300j-26 Certification of testing laboratories cup was of no value if the water placed in it was not safe in the first place. In 1914, the first drinking water standard was adopted. This required a limit for the total bacterial plate count of 100 organisms/mL and stipulated that not more than one of five 10-cc portions of each sample examined could contain B. coli (now called Escherichia coli). The standards were legally binding only on water supplies used by interstate carriers.

By 1925, the technology of filtration and chlorination was already established, and large cities encountered little difficulty in producing treated water in the range of 2 coliforms per 100 mL. Conforming to the technology-forcing nature of regulations, the standard was therefore changed to 1 coliform per 100 mL, establishing the principle of attainability. The standard now also contained limits on lead, copper, zinc, and excessive soluble mineral substances.

In 1942, significant new initiatives were stipulated into the standards. Samples for bacteriological examination from various points in the distribution system were to be obtained, requiring a minimum number of bacteriological samples for examination each month. The laboratories and the procedures used in making the examinations became subject to state and federal inspection at any time. Maximum permissible concentrations were also established for lead, fluoride, arsenic, and selenium. Salts of barium, hexavalent chromium, heavy metals, and other substances having deleterious physiological effects were not allowed in the water system. Maximum concentrations were also set for copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, chloride, sulfate, phenolic compounds, total solids, and alkalinity.

In 1946, a maximum permissible concentration was added for hexavalent chromium. The use of the salts of barium, hexavalent chromium, heavy metal glucosides, and other substances were prohibited in water treatment processes. In addition, the 1946 standards authorized the use of the membrane filter procedure for bacteriological examination of water samples.

In the early 1960s, over 19,000 municipal water systems had been identified. These systems drew surface waters for treatment into drinking water. At this time, however, federal water pollution control efforts revealed that chemical and industrial wastes had polluted many surface waterways. Thus, the 1962 standards provided the addition of more recommended maximum limiting concentrations for various substances such alkyl benzene sulfonate, barium, cadmium, carbon-chloroform extract, cyanide, nitrate, and silver.

All in all, the standards covered 28 constituents. The 1962 standards were the most comprehensive pre-SDWA federal drinking water standards. Mandatory limits were set for health-related chemical and biological impurities and recommended limits for impurities affecting appearance, taste, and odor. The implementing regulations, however, were legally binding only at the federal level, and were applicable on only about 700 water systems that supplied common carriers in interstate commerce representing fewer than 2% of the nation's water supply systems.* For the vast majority of consumers, as an enforcement tool, the 1962 standards were of limited use in ensuring safe drinking water.

The U.S. Public Health Service undertook a comprehensive survey of water supplies in the United States, known as the Community Water Supply Study (CWSS). Released in 1970, the study found that 41% of the systems surveyed did not meet the 1962 standards. Many systems were deficient with respect to various aspects of source protection, disinfection, clarification, and pressure in the distribution system. The study also showed that, although the water served to the majority of the U.S. population was safe, about 360,000 people were being supplied with potentially dangerous drinking water.

The results of the CWSS generated congressional interest in federal safe drinking water legislation. Subsequently, more studies revealed that dangerous substances were contaminating drinking water. Thirty-six organic compounds were found in the raw water supply of the Carrollton Water Treatment Plant in New Orleans, Louisiana. This plant drew raw water from the Mississippi River, a river heavily polluted with industrial wastes. Many of these wastes came from the manufacture of synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs) and had found their way into the New Orleans raw water supply. Three of the organic chemicals found in the raw water supply were chloroform, benzene, and bis-chloroethyl ether. These chemicals are known carcinogens. Additionally, trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorination in drinking water, were discovered in The Netherlands. Trihalomethanes are suspected carcinogens.

* Train, R. S. (1974). Facing the real cost of clean water, J. AWWA, 66, 10, 562.

Year

Act

Public Law

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